Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
OMEGNA

Iconic moka coffeepot turns 80

English
© ANSA

(By Christopher Livesay)
Omegna, August 19 - Italy's iconic Bialetti
stovetop coffeemaker is turning 80 years old.
Designed in 1933 by Alfonso Bialetti in this northwestern
town, the simple-yet-elegant Moka Express percolator has been in
virtually every Italian kitchen since the 1950s.
"Without a doubt, it's famous throughout the world. It
revolutionized the habits and tastes of Italians," Gaia Mazzon,
head of communications and external relations Bialetti Industrie
SpA, told ANSA.
"Bialetti Moka Express is an icon that represents our
Italian (culture) throughout the world".
The Bialetti company was born in 1919, when Alfonso
Bialetti opened a workshop in Crusinallo, in the Piedmont region
of northwestern Italy, to make semi-finished aluminium products.
That eventually included the Moka Express after Bialetti
had a eureka moment watching women wash clothes, according to
family lore.
As they boiled lye, a foamy substance would ooze through a
separate container up above where laundry was kept, just as
Bialetti's percolators eventually would erupt coffee through a
filter and into an upper canister.
In the postwar economic boom, his son Renato put modern
industrial technology behind the manufacturing process, turning
out some 200 million products over time.
The product was made immediately recognisable among similar
products thanks to its mascot-logo, a caricature of its
inventor's son: a little man with a big nose and a moustache,
dressed in a dark jacket, striped pants and wearing a bow tie,
holding up his finger as if ordering another espresso.
Today, the same model of moka pot, also known as
caffettiera in Italian, is still produced by Bialetti in many
different sizes, from one to eighteen cups.
The original design and many current models are still made
from aluminium with Bakelite handles.
There are also stainless-steel models available, electric
self-heating moka pots, and even the Mukka Express, a device
which allows milk to be frothed and mixed with the coffee during
brewing. (The name, Mukka, is a play on words, using the Italian
word for cow, mucca.)
Bialetti also produces occasional novelty items, such as
Alpina Moka, a special green coffee maker with a top shaped like
an alpine hat, complete with a little black feather.
The machine was specially designed and manufactured by
Bialetti in May 2012, to mark the 85th anniversary of the
Italian Alpine Corps, one of the oldest organizations of active
mountain infantry in the world.
Today, the company's brands include Bialetti, Aeternum,
Rondine, Girmi and CEM, and operate through subsidiaries in
several European countries.
Manufacturing plants include two in Italy, one in Turkey
and one in Romania.
Through the Girmi line, the company offers a range of small
kitchen appliances beyond coffee machines - from sandwich
toasters to immersion blenders and beaters.

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